Monday, May 29, 2006

"Daddy, I love and miss you so very much. Love Always."

Words are meaningless to honor your -and your predecessors' and successors'- ultimate sacrifice, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Joseph Mogensen.

Defense Dept. photo by William D. Moss

Sunday, May 28, 2006

"Our American way of war....the best fighting forces in the world"

America's Victories
By Jamie Glazov May 25, 2006

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Larry Schweikart, the co-author of A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror.

He is a professor of history at the University of Dayton and has written more than 20 books on national defense, business, and financial history. He is the author of the new book, America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror.

FP: Welcome back to Frontpage Interview Larry Schweikart.

Schweikart: Thanks, Jamie. It's good to talk to FPM again.

FP: So what made you write this book?

Schweikart: This book emerged from the research I have done over 15 years of teaching a class that I used to call "Stirrups to Star Wars." After the release of A Patriot's History of the United States, as I looked at my next project, it seemed obvious, what with the War on Terror and the ongoing fight in Iraq, to write a book about America's military past.

FP: You point to seven major characteristics that have combined to make American fighting forces the best in the world. What are they?

Schweikart: First, in most conflicts we have relied on citizen soldiers---volunteers---who have joined willingly. But even when we have had drafts, as in Vietnam and in the Civil War, the number of volunteers is staggering. Two-thirds of our troops in Vietnam were volunteers, for example. This has resulted in the military, with a couple of exceptions, almost perfectly reflecting the economic and regional profile of the United States as a whole. Those exceptions are Hollywood (virtually unrepresented in the modern military) and the northeast section of the U.S.---John Kerryland.

Second, we push autonomy down like no military in human history. One U.S. officer, working with some of our Middle Eastern allies, concluded that a U.S. sergeant had more operational autonomy than an Egyptian colonel. Because we rely on free troops, there is a certain respect for each man and woman's abilities and a general assumption that you can give an American almost any task and it will be accomplished. Likewise, we promote from within the ranks like few militaries ever have; move people into the officer corps regardless of caste or origins of birth; and willingly promote people on the battlefield, occasionally jumping them several ranks at once.

Third, we learn from loss. Now, to most westerners this seems commonsensical. But there are several cultures, including aspects of the Arab culture that we are now fighting, in which it is a shame to make an error, but a double shame to admit it. How can a military figure out what went wrong if it cannot ever admit it screwed up? We energetically study our battlefield losses (and successes), and analyze them seven ways from Sunday. The result is, we seldom make the same mistake twice. The Battle of Kasserine Pass was a great example of this, where we looked at poor leadership, inadequate training, and flawed weapons, and fixed them all by the next time we fought the Germans.

Fourth, we have unprecedented inter-unit and inter-service autonomy. Our people talk to each other, and work with each other, something that has been extremely difficult for other militaries or terrorist groups. We then use technology to link units together into an unprecedented degree, whereby in the next few years literally a tanker will be able to talk directly to a pilot overhead without going through his headquarters, then calling the pilot's headquarters, then the pilot.

Fifth, we embrace technology---largely due to private property rights---and willingly employ anything that gives us an edge. Yes, there were exceptions: the Thompson .45 caliber submachine gun took a long time to gain acceptance, and there was a reluctance to adopt the submarine. Often, though, this reflects less military myopia than it does some constraint in another area. For example, in the Civil War, the Spencer repeater eventually became a far superior weapon to the Springfield musket, but was not adopted early because preliminary tests showed a lot of jamming, and also (perhaps more important) because each cartridge for a Spencer cost $2 (2006 dollars), and at a rate of fire of seven shots per 10 seconds, well . . . you can go through some serious money very quickly. The War Department just didn't think it could afford that rate of fire. Still, Col. John Wilder, of the Indiana "Lightning Brigade," felt so strongly about the Spencers that he had his regiment's soldiers purchase the rifles for themselves, and if they couldn't afford it, Wilder personally loaned them the money because he believed in the potential of a higher rate of fire.

Sixth, we embrace life. Like most western armies, we subscribe to a concept of sanctity of life that means that we treat enemy prisoners well---Dick Durban not withstanding---and we even seek to rescue our own POWs when possible. I've never found any other nation or group do this----make a determined and regular attempt to rescue its own POWs. In fact, after I wrote the book, I found yet another example of an attempted (unsuccessful) POW rescue.

Last, we tolerate dissent. This will surprise a lot of people on both sides of the aisle, but anti-war protestors actually make our troops more lethal. It works like this: since the First World War, at least, anti-war protestors have found they could not make any headway in popular opinion by emphasizing "collateral damage" of American war efforts. The only tactic that ever worked was to emphasize U.S. casualties. Except this had its own unintended effect: the military, sensitive to "excessive" casualties, consistently studied doctrine, weapons, and so on, revising its policies so as to make U.S. soldiers even more deadly killers. It is absolutely true that such anti-war people damage the immediate war effort, but over the long run, they make the military better than ever because of relentless self examination by the military.

FP: What are some of the myths about Vietnam?

Schweikart: One of the most pernicious was that Vietnam was fought by the poor, uneducated, largely black draftees. In fact, nearly 2/3s of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers; only 12% were black---exactly proportional to the U.S. population at the time; and the education level of the average soldier was about what it was for a non-soldier.

Other myths are that the returning vets had higher levels of mental disease, drug addition, and/or suicide. (Not true at all). Yet another that, because of my background as a rock and roll drummer, I find most interesting, is that the music industry helped "change attitudes" against the war. In fact, no antiwar songs came out until public opinion had substantially shifted against the war, making anti-war music profitable. I found for this book that Jimi Hendrix, who was in the 101st Airbornea and who faked being a homsexual to get out, did so only because he wanted to play his guitar non-stop, and as late as 1968 he spoke very favorably of the U.S. military, once defending our position in Vietnam to European interviewers (to their horror).

A broader myth is that the military "lost" Vietnam. If you look at the 1965 statements of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as given to Pres. Johnson, on what it would take to win, in that year---1965---the military said it would take 1 million men, round the clock bombing of the north, cutting the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and mining Haiphong Harbor. Yet by 1969, we had just over half that number, had never engaged in serious, sustained bombing of the North, and never even made an attempt to sever the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

It's worth mentioning, as a final myth, that Ho Chi Minh ("the Enlightened One," or, "that little Ho," as I like to call him) was not a communist. He was a diehard communist, not a "nationalist."

FP: What do you think about Abu Ghraib?

Schweikart: Broadly, of course, we do not tolerate torture or genuine abuse. It's one of the reasons most of our enemies have no problems surrendering to us. One of the reasons the Japanese were so suicidal in the Pacific islands was that they were convinced by their own propaganda that we would torture and abuse POWS---in short, do to the Japanese exactly what they did in China and to our POWs, such as performing human vivisection experiments, beheadings, and herding prisoners into bunkers, throwing aviation fuel on them, and setting them on fire. Notice, however, that in the information age there was no such propaganda that convinced Iraqis not to give up in 1991, when they were surrendering to CNN news crews. ("Stop or I'll quote you!")

Now, specifically on some of the things that happened at Abu Ghraib, all I can say is, if putting women's underwear on someone's head is torture, then we have abandoned all legitimate use of the English language. However, there is an element about the Lyndie England pictures that no one on the left wants to seriously examine, and it is this: certain of our terrorist enemies---those who come from a Bedouin/Arab mindset---are obsessive about concepts of "shame" and "honor." This goes back to my point about "learning from loss"---for them, it is impossible, because it would be dishonorable to admit that you got "whupped." Moreover, these same groups think women are no better than dogs. So when these jihadists see big, strong terrorist men being held on a dog leash by a little American woman, don't tell me that didn't send shudders down the spines of these people. I read a great deal on the "Arab mind" and Arab culture for this book, including several psychological studies written by Arabs, and they all came to the same conclusions about shame and honor. The result is that while Americans see the Lyndie England pictures and think, "Gee, this is terrible, we shouldn't treat people that way," most Middle Eastern audiences see such pictures and say, "The Americans are really tough. Their women are superior to our men." I make this case at length in a chapter called "Gitmo, Gulags, and Great Raids."

It's too bad, but for reasons of military discipline we must punish Lyndie England and others involved in these shenanigans, but from the standpoint of actual impact on the situation, they helped far, far more than they hurt. If you look at the number and impact of attacks and incidents after the publication of the photos, they fell off a great deal for many months. I say, "FREE LYNDIE!"

FP: Americans may have won many wars, but isn’t the War on Terror different?

Schweikart: Absolutely not. In fact, it is extremely close in all respects to the Filipino Insurrection, of 1899-1902, and the subsequent "insurgency" and "Moro wars" that lasted until about 1910. First, the number of troops deployed in Iraq as a share of total U.S. Army/Marine strength is almost exactly proportional. Second, the objective of Emilio Aguinaldo, like that of Abu Musab al-Zarqari, was to force a change in U.S. policy politically by affecting U.S. elections. Aguinaldo hoped to unseat William McKinley, Zarqari, Bush. Third, almost all "insurrections" or "guerilla wars" of the 20th century have been won by the "government." In this case, that would be us---and this includes Vietnam. The record is that the government won 8/11, losing China and Vietnam. Fourth, despite what the Left thinks, there is a relentless mathematics about warfare: you can only lose so many men, then you run out of fighters and especially suicide bombers.

An interesting aspect of news coverage in Iraq/Afghanistan is the utter blackout on numbers of enemy forces killed, wounded, or captured. There is a good reason for this: we are kicking butt like you wouldn't believe. My estimates are highly flawed, because they are based only on reported numbers (which no one disputes), and the real numbers are likely far, far higher, but so far I estimate we have killed or imprisoned more than 20,000 terrorists and jihadis. I don't care how many kooks they have running in from Syria or Yemen, it's clear they are nearly out of bodies. We killed perhaps 1,000 just in Fallujah---one sniper alone accounted for 100 kills! Several months ago, either Time or Newsweek ran an article about the "women" of terror-dom, and noted that the terrorists had to start recruiting women. Why? Because we have killed all their male suicide bombers. As Victor Hanson shows about the battle of Okinawa, the Japanese ran out of kamikaze volunteers. Well, it's easier to force a "volunteer" to engage in a suicide charge if you have a formal army structure and bayonets at their backs, but in an asymmetric warfare situation, it's virtually impossible to force people to be suicide bombers. So they are running out of peeps. As the line goes in the movie "Major Payne," when Major Payne is being mustered out, "There's got to be some people that need killin'," his superior responds, "No, Major, you've killed them all."

Finally, some people argue that this is a "different kind of war" because we are fighting an "ideology," not an army. Exsqueeeeze me? What was World War II? Seems to me we defeated two ideologies, Japanese bushido-ism and Nazism, then, in the Cold War, defeated another, communism, largely without firing a shot.

FP: So let’s sum it up: why have we won wars and why will we win this one?

Schweikart: Several weeks ago, an exasperated Bill O'Reilly asked a guest, "Why is it we can turn kids into soldiers in six weeks [sic] and we can't turn the Iraqis into a fighting force after a year?" He's completely wrong. We do not turn boys and girls into soldiers in "six weeks" or even a more accurate "nineteen weeks" of training. Rather, what happens is that we take Americans who have absorbed more than 200 years of a specific fighting culture and we turn then into soldiers. This will turn some people off, but the fact is we are attempting to turn the Iraqis into Americans. We are trying to teach them self-governance, individual autonomy, free-market principles, the ability to ignore shame and to learn from loss in order to improve, the abilty to put aside tribal and sectarian differences to work together, and the need to push autonomy down. As they absorb those principles---as they already already are---their military will rapidly replace our forces in Iraq.

On the broader issue of the "War on Terror," we will win because we're Americans. We will win because to beat us, you have to be us. Those countries that have come the closest to defeating us have had to embrace large parts of our American way of war---but since they can never accept all of those principles, and this even applies to CHINA---they cannot beat us. They know it, and our military knows it. Only the American Left hasn't figure this out yet.

FP: Larry Schweikart, thank you for joining us again.

Schweikart: Always great to talk to you, Jamie.

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him. -G.K. Chesterton ILN, 1/14/11

May 28, 2006
At West Point, Bush Draws Parallels With Truman
WEST POINT, N.Y., May 27 — President Bush implicitly compared himself to Harry S. Truman in a commencement address at the United States Military Academy on Saturday, saying Truman acted boldly against the "fanatic faith" of cold war communism in the same way Mr. Bush's administration has responded to the threat of terrorism since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"By the actions he took, the institutions he built, the alliances he forged and the doctrines he set down, President Truman laid the foundations for America's victory in the cold war," Mr. Bush told the class of 2006.

Mr. Bush has compared the struggle against communism to the current war against Islamic radicalism in previous speeches, but his address on Saturday was his most developed on the theme. He left it unsaid that Truman was deeply unpopular at the end of his two terms in office and that it took a generation to appreciate his achievements.

"Like the cold war, we are fighting the followers of a murderous ideology that despises freedom, questions all dissent, has territorial ambitions and pursues totalitarian aims," Mr. Bush said. He added that "like Americans in Truman's day, we are laying the foundations for victory."

The president made a passing but pointed reference to the present standoff with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. "The message has spread from Damascus to Tehran that the future belongs to freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation," Mr. Bush said.

Unlike his commencement address at West Point four years ago, which set forth the argument of pre-emption that was the basis of the American-led invasion of Iraq, Mr. Bush offered no new policy in his 30-minute address. Instead, he repeated the themes of his major war addresses from the past five years.

He also told graduates, the first class to enter West Point after the attacks of Sept. 11, that "today you'll become proud officers of the greatest army in the history of the world."

He made no mention of any potential troop withdrawals from Iraq, or to specific setbacks there, but noted that 34 times in the last four years the class had observed a moment of silence for a former West Point cadet who had died in the war on terror.

"We will honor the memory of those brave souls," Mr. Bush said. "We will finish the task for which they gave their lives. We will complete the mission."

The president commended the academy for adapting to what he called the new form of warfare in the 21st century. West Point, he said, has added courses in counterinsurgency operations, intelligence and homeland security; expanded Arabic language training; and hired faculty members with expertise in Islamic law and culture. In addition, Mr. Bush praised the institution for its new Combating Terrorism Center and for establishing a minor in terrorism studies.

He reiterated that there was only one response to terrorism. "We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything other than complete victory," he said.

The 861-member class, which includes 131 women, frequently responded with applause.

Mr. Bush was accompanied by Donald L. Evans, his former commerce secretary, who is a leading candidate to replace John W. Snow as Treasury secretary. Mr. Evans is spending the Memorial Day weekend with Mr. Bush at Camp David.

Copycats: The Democratic Party desperately seeking a new identity...

The Party with NO IDEAS

From the Los Angeles Times

Neocons in the Democratic Party

Like Kennedy and Truman, Democratic neocons want to beef up the military and won't run from a fight.
By Jacob HeilbrunnJacob Heilbrunn, a former Times editorial writer, is writing a book on neoconservatism.

May 28, 2006

DON'T LOOK now, but neoconservatism is making a comeback — and not among the Republicans who have made it famous but in the Democratic Party.

A host of pundits and young national security experts associated with the party are calling for a return to the Cold War precepts of President Truman to wage a war against terror that New Republic Editor Peter Beinart, in the title of his provocative new book, calls "The Good Fight."

The fledgling neocons of the left are based at places such as the Progressive Policy Institute, whose president, Will Marshall, has just released a volume of doctrine called "With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty." Beinart's book is subtitled "Why Liberals — and Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again." Their political champions include Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and such likely presidential candidates as former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council.

This new crop of liberal hawks calls for expanding the existing war against terrorism, beefing up the military and promoting democracy around the globe while avoiding the anti-civil liberties excesses of the Bush administration. They support a U.S. government that would seek multilateral consensus before acting abroad, but one that is not scared to use force when necessary.

These Democrats want to be seen as anything but the squishes who have led the party to defeat in the past. Interestingly, that's how the early neocons saw themselves too: as liberals fighting to reclaim their party's true heritage — before they decamped to the GOP in the 1980s.

Indeed, the credo of the new Democratic hawks is eerily reminiscent of the neocons of the 1970s, who ran a full-page ad in the New York Times called "Come Home, Democrats" after George McGovern's crushing defeat, in a play on his campaign slogan "Come Home, America." In it, early neocons such as Jeane Kirkpatrick and Norman Podhoretz called for a return to the principles of — you guessed it — Truman and President Kennedy.

They lamented the fact that their party had been taken over by the forces backing McGovern's run for the presidency in 1972 and wanted to purge the party of the McGovernites. They didn't want self-abasement about U.S. sins abroad but a vigorous fighting faith that promoted the American creed of liberty and human rights abroad and at home.

Now, a generation later, as the crusading Republican neoconservatism espoused by Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol and others lies in the smoking rubble of Baghdad, a new generation of Democrats wants to dust off and rehabilitate those traditional Democratic principles, which they believe were hijacked by the Bush administration.

They want, in essence, to return to the beliefs that originally brought the neocons to prominence, the beliefs that motivated old-fashioned Cold War liberals such as Democratic Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson.

Where will all this lead? To an internecine Democratic war, of course. Just as Republicans are being riven by debates between realists and Bush administration idealists, so the Democratic Party is about to witness its own battle.

Just as the old neocons wanted to expel the McGovernites, so the new ones want to rid the party of the types and move it to the right. As Beinart puts it, "whatever its failings, the right at least knows that America's enemies need to be fought."

In "With All Our Might," scholars Larry Diamond and Michael McFaul — both Democrats — outline a comprehensive democracy-promotion program. For example, they imaginatively call for transplanting the 1975 Helsinki accords, which insisted upon human rights monitoring in the former Warsaw Pact nations, to the Middle East. "Freedom," they exhort, "is the fundamental antidote to all forms of tyranny, terror and oppression."

Other Democrats, who call themselves the "Sept. 11 generation," have formed what is known as the Truman National Security Project, whose avowed aim is to revive the "strong security, strong values of the Democratic Party — for Democrats of all ages."

Does this simply sound like Bush-lite? To the right and the left, it probably will, but the main opposition facing the would-be Truman successors will come from the latter. The battle will come from the generation of Democrats who came of age during the 1960s and who were instrumental in finishing off "Cold War liberalism" because of its failures in the jungles of Vietnam.

Vietnam, remember, was a liberal, not a conservative, war, undertaken by warrior intellectuals who were liberal at home but saw falling dominoes everywhere around the world. (The same lack of nuance plagues the Bush administration, which has been trying to depict a global kind of Islamic totalitarianism, when the foe, as in the Cold War, is really more diffuse and less of a monolith than American leaders are prepared to believe.)

The types are hardly prepared to go down without a fight. At the moment, with no end to the imbroglio in Iraq in sight, they — the populist left — are poised for their greatest influence in the party since the McGovern era.

The new Democratic hawks, like the old neoconservatives of the 1970s, represent an insurgency, a direct challenge to the establishment. And if they are to revamp the party, they will have to do a lot more than simply evoke the ghost of Truman and Co.

Still, it is amusing to see that at the very moment when hawkish realists are trying to extirpate the neocon credo in the Republican Party, it's being revived in the Democratic Party that first brought it to life.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why not invade Canada?

Tony Blankley has a modest proposal: since Vicente Fox may be campaigning in Utah to become the president of the US, why limit our expansion westward?

Americans have always needed new frontiers to explore and develop. Ever since we made it to the Pacific there has been a sense of completion to our story. As Frederick Jackson Turner argued: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development."

But why only westward? Why not northward? Perhaps it is time to unleash our restless frontier spirit. Where better than to Canada? And who better to lead us than Vicente Fox?

After all, Canada is virtually empty. Less than 30 million Canadians in over 3.9 million square miles. It's bigger than the United States and largely undeveloped. Plus, Osama bin Laden doesn't seem to care about Canada. We will no longer be in the bull's eye. Let the Mexican/New Americans deal with him.

We Americans could build the malls, golf courses and high tech corridors that Canadians refuse to build. No civilized people care about technical borders anymore. It's so possessive and stingy. Only fussy Canadian nativists and xenophobes will complain that Canada is theirs. Yea? You and what National Guard? There are 300 million of us and only 30 million of you. Get used to it. Plus, we already speak your language. Or, technically, we both already speak England's language.

It's true there are some pesky French up there. But Americans know how to deal with bothersome local tribes who don't know their place. We'll put the French on reservations and let them run gambling casinos. After all didn't the French invent the croupier. Think of policeman Louis Renault in Casablanca only pretending to be shocked at the fact of gambling going on at Rick's Place.
And, since Al Gore has said that in 8 years global warming will hit hard, Canada will no longer be the cold country it is now… Don’t miss Tony Blankley’s fabulous description of how the United States of Canada –and our continued expansion through Siberia- can become a reality!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"... what unites us, Israel and America, is a commitment to tap the greatest resource of all-the human mind and the human spirit."

Amid a lengthy round of applause, including a standing ovation from US lawmakers, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the US congress Wednesday evening with a speech largely aimed at striking a nerve with the American public.
Olmert began his speech by praising the United States, its strength and democracy, and pledged that "Israel would never let you down," once again receiving a rousing ovation.

The Jerusalem Post

On behalf of the people and State of Israel, I wish to express my profound gratitude to you for the privilege of addressing this Joint Meeting of the US Congress. This building, this chamber, and all of you stand as testament to the enduring principles of liberty and democracy.

More than 30 years ago, I came to Washington as a young legislator, thanks to a program sponsored by the State Department. I had a chance to tour this building, and I saw then what I believe today - that this institution, the United States Congress, is the greatest deliberative body in the world. I did not imagine then, that a day would actually come, when I would have the honor of addressing this forum as the Prime Minister of my nation, the State of Israel.

The United States is a superpower whose influence reaches across oceans and beyond borders. Your continued support, which, I am happy to say, transcends partisan affiliations, is of paramount importance to us. We revere the principles and values represented by your great country, and are grateful for the unwavering support and friendship we have received from the US Congress, from President George W. Bush and from the American people.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me, and I didn't have the heart to let him down."

Israel is grateful that America believes in us. Let me assure you that we will NOT let you down.

The similarities in our economic, social and cultural identities are obvious, but there's something much deeper and everlasting. The unbreakable ties between our two nations extend far beyond mutual interests. They are based on our shared goals and values stemming from the very essence of our mutual foundations.

This coming Monday, the 29th of May, you commemorate Memorial Day for America's fallen. The graves of brave American soldiers are scattered throughout the world: in Asia and in the Pacific, throughout Europe and Africa, in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. The pain of the families never heals, and the void they leave is never filled.

It is impossible to think of a world in which America was not there, in the honorable service of humanity. On Monday, when the Stars and the Stripes are lowered to half-mast, we, the people of Israel, will bow our heads with you.

Our two great nations share a profound belief in the importance of freedom and a common pioneering spirit deeply rooted in optimism. It was the energetic spirit of our pioneers that enabled our two countries to implement the impossible. To build cities where swamps once existed and to make the desert bloom.

My parents Bella and Mordechai Olmert were lucky… They escaped the persecution in Ukraine and Russia and found sanctuary in Harbin, China. They immigrated to Israel to fulfill their dream of building a Jewish and democratic state living in peace in the land of our ancestors.

My parents came to the Holy Land following a verse in the Old Testament in the book of second Samuel "I will appoint a place for my people Israel and I will plant them in their land and they will dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more".

Distinguished members of Congress, I come here - to this home of liberty and democracy - to tell you that my parents' dream, our dream, has only been partly fulfilled. We have succeeded in building a Jewish democratic homeland. We have succeeded in creating an oasis of hope and opportunity in a troubled region. But there has not yet been one year… one week… even one day… of peace in our tortured land.

Our Israeli pioneers suffered, and their struggle was long and hard. Yet even today, almost 60 years after our independence, that struggle still endures. Since the birth of the state of Israel and until this very moment, we have been continually at war and amidst confrontation. The confrontation has become even more violent, the enemy turned even more inhumane due to the scourge of suicide terrorism. But we are not alone. Today, Israel, America, Europe, and democracies across the globe, unfortunately, face this enemy.

Over the past six years more than 20,000 attempted terrorist attacks have been initiated against the people of Israel. Most, thankfully, have been foiled by our security forces. But those which have succeeded have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians… and the injury of thousands - many of them children guilty ONLY of being in what proved to be the wrong place at the wrong time.

These are not statistics…. These are real people with beautiful souls that have left this earth far too soon.

In the decade I served as mayor of my beloved City, Jerusalem, we faced the lion's share of the seemingly endless wave of terrorism.

I remember Galila, a twelve year old girl, an Ethiopian immigrant, whose parents worked in the King David Hotel. On one particular morning, Galila's parents' fear of their daughter taking the bus overwhelmed them, and they asked to drive her to school. She refused, assuring her parents "Don't worry, I know where it is safe to sit". She found a seat she thought was safe. Unfortunately, a suicide bomber ascended that very bus Galila was on and exploded himself right next to her.

When I visited her grieving parents, Galila's mother came to me and pleaded "you are the mayor of Jerusalem. Please find me some item, anything, of remembrance belonging to my daughter, even a shoelace". I did everything a mayor could do, checking repeatedly with the police, insisting that they continue to scour the wreckage of the burned out bus. But the police confirmed the terrible truth: not even a shoelace could be found.

Among the victims of this brutal and unremitting terror, I am sorry to tell you, are also American citizens. Only last week, Daniel Cantor Wultz, a 16 year old high school student from Weston, Florida, who came to spend the Passover holiday with his parents in Israel, succumbed to his sever injuries, incurred in Israel's most recent suicide attack.

I asked Daniel's parents and sister, Yekutiel, Sheryl and Amanda Wultz, who only finished the traditional period of mourning two days ago, to be with us here today. Daniel was a relative of Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, an honorable member of this house. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

I bring Galila's memory, Daniel's memory, and the loss of so many others, with me to my new post as Prime Minister. I also bring with me the horrific scenes I saw with my own eyes when I visited New York just a few days after the devastating attacks on September 11th. A tragedy that transcends any other terrorist attack that has ever occurred.

As I told my good friend Rudy Giuliani, on that dreadful day, our hearts went out to you. Not only because of the friendship between us, but because, tragically and personally, we both know what it is to confront the evil of terrorism at home.

Our countries do not just share the experience and pain of terrorism. We share the commitment and resolve to confront the brutal terrorists that took these innocent people from us. We share the commitment to extract from our grief a renewed dedication to providing our people with a better future.

Let me state this as clearly as I can: we will NOT yield to terror…we will NOT surrender to terror….. and we WILL WIN the war on terror and restore peace to our societies.

The Palestinian Authority is ruled by Hamas - an organization committed to vehement anti-Semitism, the glorification of terror and the total destruction of Israel. As long as these are their guiding principles, they can never be a partner.

Therefore, while Israel works to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population are met, we can never capitulate to terrorists or terrorism. I pay tribute to the firmness and the clarity with which the President and this Congress uphold this crucial principle which we both firmly share.

Israel commends this Congress for initiating the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act which sends a firm clear message that the United States of America will not tolerate terrorism in any form.

Like America, Israel seeks to rid itself of the horrors of terrorism. Israel yearns for peace and security. Israel is determined to take responsibility for its own future and take concrete steps to turn its dreams into reality. The painful but necessary process of Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria was an essential step.

At this moment, my thoughts turn especially to the great leader, who, in normal circumstances, should have stood here. Ariel Sharon, the legendary statesman and visionary, my friend and colleague, could not be here with us but I am emboldened by the promise of continuing his mission. I pray, as I am sure you all do too, for his recovery.

Ariel Sharon is a man of few words and great principles. His vision and dream of peace and security transcended time, philosophy and politics. Israel must still meet the momentous challenge of guaranteeing the future of Israel as a democratic state with a Jewish majority, within permanent and defensible borders and a united Jerusalem as its capital - that is open and accessible for the worship of all religions.

This was the dream to which Ariel Sharon was loyally committed. This was the mission he began to fulfill. It is the goal and the purpose of the Kadima party that he founded and to which I was the first to join. And it is this legacy of liberty, identity and security that I embrace. It is what I am working towards. It is what I am so passionately hoping for.

Although our government has changed, Israel's goal remains the same. As Prime Minister Sharon clearly stated: "The Palestinians will forever be our neighbors. They are an inseparable part of this land, as are we. Israel has no desire to rule over them, nor to oppress them. They too have a right for freedom and national inspirations."

With the vision of Ariel Sharon guiding my actions, from this podium today, I extend my hand in peace to Mahmoud Abbas, elected President of the Palestinian Authority. On behalf of the State of Israel, we are willing to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority. This authority must renounce terrorism, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, accept previous agreements and commitments, and recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Let us be clear: peace, without security, will bring neither peace nor security.

We will not, we cannot, compromise on these basic tests of partnership.

With a genuine Palestinian partner for peace, I believe we can reach an agreement on all the issues that divide us. Our past experience shows us it is possible to bridge the differences between our two peoples. I believe this - I KNOW THIS - because we have done it before, in our peace treaties with Egypt and with Jordan. These treaties involved painful and difficult compromises. It required Israel to take real risks.

But if there is to be a just, fair and lasting peace, we need a partner who rejects violence and who values life more than death. We need a partner that affirms in action, not just in words, the rejection, prevention and elimination of terror.

Peace with Egypt became possible only after President Anwar Sadat came to our Knesset and declared, once and for all, "No more war and no more bloodshed." And peace with Jordan became possible only after the late King Hussein, here in Washington, declared the end of the state of belligerency, signed a peace treaty with us, and wholeheartedly acknowledged Israel's right to exist.

The lesson for the Palestinian people is clear. In a few years they could be living in a Palestinian state, side by side in peace and security with Israel. A Palestinian State which Israel and the international community would help thrive.

But no one can make this happen for them if they refuse to make it happen for themselves.

For thousands of years, we Jews have been nourished and sustained by a yearning for our historic land. I, like many others, was raised with a deep conviction that the day would never come when we would have to relinquish parts of the land of our forefathers. I believed, and to this day still believe, in our people's eternal and historic right to this entire land.

But I also believe that dreams alone will not quiet the guns that have fired unceasingly for nearly a hundred years. Dreams alone will not enable us to preserve a secure democratic Jewish state.

Jews all around the world read in this week's Torah portion: "And you will dwell in your land safely and I will give you peace in the land, and there shall be no cause for fear neither shall the sword cross through the Promised Land".

Painfully, we the people of Israel have learned to change our perspective. We have to compromise in the name of peace, to give up parts of our promised land in which every hill and valley is saturated with Jewish history and in which our heroes are buried. We have to relinquish part of our dream to leave room for the dream of others, so that all of us can enjoy a better future. For this painful but necessary task my government was elected. And to this I am fully committed.

We hope and pray that our Palestinian neighbors will also awaken. We hope they will make the crucial distinction between implementing visions that can inspire us to build a better reality, and mirages that will only lead us further into the darkness. We hope and pray for this, because no peace is more stable than one reached out of mutual understanding not just for the past but for the future.

We owe a quiet and normal life to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. After defending ourselves for almost 60 years against attacks, all our children should be allowed to live free of fear and terror.

And so I ask of the Palestinians: How can a child growing up in a Culture of Hate dream of the possibility of peace? It is so important that all schools and all educational institutions in the region teach our children to be hate-free.

The key to a true lasting peace in the Middle East is in the education of the next generation.

So let us today call out to all peoples of the Middle East: replace the Culture of Hate with an outlook of hope.

It is three years since the Road Map for Peace was presented. The Road Map was and remains the right plan. A Palestinian leadership that fulfils its commitments and obligations will find us a willing partner in peace. But if they refuse, we will not give a terrorist regime a veto over progress, or allow it to take hope hostage.

We cannot wait for the Palestinians forever. Our deepest wish is to build a better future for our region, hand in hand with a Palestinian partner, but if not, we will move forward, but not alone.

We could never have implemented the Disengagement plan without your firm support. The Disengagement could never have happened without the commitments set out by President Bush in his letter of April 14, 2004, endorsed by both houses of Congress in unprecedented majorities. In the name of the People of Israel, I thank President Bush for this commitment and for his support and friendship.

The next step is even more vital to our future and to the prospects of finally bringing peace to the Middle East. Success will only be possible with America as an active participant, leading the support of our friends in Europe and across the world.

Should we realize that the bilateral track with the Palestinians is of no consequence, should the Palestinians ignore our outstretched hand for peace, Israel will seek other alternatives to promote our future and the prospects of hope in the Middle East. At that juncture, the time for realignment will occur.

Realignment would be a process to allow Israel to build its future without being held hostage to Palestinian terrorist activities. Realignment would significantly reduce the friction between Israelis and Palestinians and prevent much of the conflict between our two battered nations.

The goal is to break the chains that have tangled our two peoples in unrelenting violence for far too many generations. With our futures unbound peace and stability might finally find its way to the doorsteps of this troubled region.

Mr. Speaker,

Allow me to turn to another dark and gathering storm casting its shadow over the world….

Every generation is confronted with a moment of truth and trial. From the savagery of slavery, to the horrors of World War Two, to the gulags of the Communist Bloc. That which is right and good in this world has always been at war with the horrific evil permitted by human indifference.

Iran, the world's leading sponsor of terror, and a notorious violator of fundamental human rights, stands on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. With these weapons, the security of the entire world is put in jeopardy.

We deeply appreciate America's leadership on this issue and the strong bipartisan conviction that a nuclear-armed Iran is an intolerable threat to the peace and security of the world. It cannot be permitted to materialize. This Congress has proven its conviction by initiating the Iran Freedom and Support Act. We applaud these efforts.

A nuclear Iran means a terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists live and die: the mass destruction of innocent human life. This challenge, which I believe is The Test of Our Time, is one the West cannot afford to fail.

The radical Iranian regime has declared the United States its enemy. Its President believes it is his religious duty and his destiny to lead his country in a violent conflict against the infidels. With pride he denies the Jewish Holocaust and speaks brazenly, calling to wipe Israel off the map.

For us, this is an existential threat. A threat to which we cannot consent. But it is not Israel's threat alone. It is a threat to all those committed to stability in the Middle East and the well being of the world at large.

Mr. Speaker, our moment is NOW. History will judge our generation by the actions we take NOW…by our willingness to stand up for peace and security and freedom, and by our courage to do what is right.

The international community will be measured not by its intentions but by its results. The international community will be judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on hatred and zealotry.

If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggression seriously later.

Mr. Speaker,

The true Israel is not one you can understand through the tragic experiences of the complex geopolitical realities. Israel has impressive credentials in the realms of science, technology, high-tech and the arts and many Israelis are Nobel Prizes laureates in various fields.

A land with limited resources, eager to facilitate cooperation with the United States, Israel devotes its best and brightest scientists to Research and Development for new generations of safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly sources of energy. Both our countries share a desire for energy security and prevention of global warming. Therefore, through the United States - Israel energy cooperation act and other joint frameworks, in collaboration with our US counterparts, Israel will increase its efforts to find advanced scientific and technological solutions, designed to develop new energy sources and encourage conservation.

Just one example of Israel's remarkable achievements is the recent 4 billion dollar purchase by an American company of Israel's industrial giant Iscar. This is an important endorsement of the Israeli economy, which has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any country other than the United States and Canada. It is also a vote of confidence in Israel's strategic initiative to enhance the economic and social development of our Negev and Galilee regions.

But above all it is recognition that what unites us, Israel and America, is a commitment to tap the greatest resource of all - the human mind and thehuman spirit .

We believe in the moral principles shared by our two nations and they guide our political decisions.

We believe that life is sacred and fanaticism is not.

We believe that every democracy has the right and the duty to defend its citizens and its values against all enemies.

We believe that terrorism not only leads to war but that terrorism is war. A war that must be won every day. A war in which all men and women of goodwill must be allies.

We believe that peace among nations remains not just the noblest ideal but a genuine reality.

We believe that peace, based on mutual respect, must be and is attainable in the near future.

We, as Jews and citizens of Israel, believe that our Palestinian neighbors want to live in peace. We believe that they have the desire, and hopefully the courage, to reject violence and hatred as means to attain national independence.

The Bible tells us that as Joshua stood on the verge of the Promised Land, he was given one exhortation: 'Chazak Ve'ematz' 'Be strong and of good courage".

Strength, without courage, will only lead to brutality. Courage, without strength, will only lead to futility. Only genuine courage and commitment to our values, backed by the will and the power to defend them, will lead us forward in the service of humanity.

To the Congress of the United States and to the great people of America, I wish to say 'Chazak Ve'ematz' be strong and of good courage, and we, and all peoples who cherish freedom, will be with you.

And God Bless America,

Thank you

..."after Washington and Lincoln, President Bush is the bravest of our Presidents."

The Bravest President
This guy is good
National Review

By Michael Novak

Now when he is at his lowest point yet in the polls is the time for those who love and admire President Bush to say so. Depending on the final success of his already successful campaign to bring the rudiments of democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq, George W. Bush, #43, may go down as a truly great president, who against fierce odds turned the entire Middle East in a new, more democratic, and more creative direction.

But I do not want to argue here the question of his greatness (I have heard voices call him the worst ever) because the question of ranking is above my pay grade and my foresight.

What I do want to argue is that, after Washington and Lincoln, Bush is the bravest of our presidents. He has faced the most intense fire, hatred, contempt, heavily moneyed and bitterly acidic partisan opposition, underhandedness, betrayal, of any president in the last hundred years. He has faced hostility over a longer time, in possibly the most dangerous period of international warfare in our national history. He has remained constant, firm, decided, and generous (to a fault) with his opponents.

He has faced almost unbroken contempt from the academy, from the mainstream press, from Democratic elites, from Moveon and all the other holders of the Democratic-party purse strings, from the Democratic Congress, from his treacherous (if not treasonous) Central Intelligence Agency, and from many levels of the permanent State Department. Almost every day, he has been pummeled and undermined by powerful forces of American power. Still, he has stayed firm, with clear arguments, and an even clearer vision.

On the number-one issue facing the nation—the war declared upon us by fascists who pretend to be religious—he has not wavered, he has not bent, he has stayed on course and true.

In Iraq, civil society, nearly comatose under Saddam Hussein, is today alive and full of vitality. Newspapers and television and magazines are full of diversity and energy, political parties multiply, private associations are functioning by the thousands, most of the country is more secure than some American cities. Iraqi exiles from around the world, far from fleeing, are coming back in droves.

In Paris, France, more cars may have been set on fire this past year than car bombings in Baghdad. In the decade of the Algerian war some time ago there may have been more bombings in France per week than there are now in Iraq. A tiny band of extremists, led by a crafty but crazed Jordanian, are still capable of impressive resourcefulness and ruthless killing, especially within camera reach of the hotels in Baghdad, where the American press is bunkered down. But they represent only a small fringe of Iraqi voters—and of course they loathe democracy with all their writhing intestines.

Despite the depredations, beheadings, and homicide bombings aimed at American public opinion, and especially elite opinion, President Bush has bravely kept his focus on eliminating one by one the dwindling band of terrorists, on the reconstruction of Iraqi civil society, and on the ability of Iraqi parties to broker and bargain and argue themselves into consensus in a political manner.

Whatever American voters may say of him to opinion pollsters—and his polls are now very low indeed—the survival of democracy in Iraq will in the future count as an enormous achievement. Moreover, the exchange in Arab minds of the "big idea" of democracy for the grand illusions of the past (Arab nationalism, Arab socialism, Baathist dictatorship, pan-Arabism), may a generation from now confer on President Bush the unmistakable honor of having been one of those presidents who actually changed the course of history. A president who changed the course of history, yes—and also one who did so against unprecedented opposition at home, bitter and hysterical opposition, even from those who were formerly of the party of democracy, human rights, and international outreach.

It takes more bravery to continue walking calmly through immense hostility at home, than to face down a foreign foe, with a united nation at one's back. This, as I say, is a very brave president.

It may also turn out that, despite currently swirling furies, the president's stout refusal to be merely partisan or to throw red meat to some of his best supporters (he knew as well as anybody what they most wanted now), alongside the five interlinked courses of action he proposed, will have empowered a much more thorough immigration reform than seemed possible even four weeks earlier.

Despite a normal diet of failures and setbacks, common to all presidents, it is also worth counting up his steady, always surprising successes in cutting taxes, in reshaping the Supreme Court, in getting personal Social Security accounts and personal medical accounts on the agenda of public discussion (the first president since Roosevelt to touch the third rail and live to tell of it), and in presiding over the most amazing economy in the world during the past six years.

Polls may be fickle. Notable accomplishments endure, as rock-solid facts. The full record of this president may yet turn out to be as highly ranked as his bravery is bound to be.

If you were in his shoes, would you not prefer the fame of 30 years from now to popularity in your own time? Being popular is neither within one's own control nor, in the larger scheme, a goal worth pursuing. Doing the right thing steadily, as best one can, is.

I like this guy. And I admire his guts, and his decency.

— Michael Novak is the winner of the 1994 Templeton Prize for progress in religion and the George Frederick Jewett Scholar in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Novak's own website is

Americans are bankrolling a new enemy: the Latin American demagogue, Hugo Chavez. Boycott Citgo gas stations (owned by the Venezuelan government).

Mark Steyn shifts gear and points out the problems we are facing in Latin America. In a review of Frank Gaffney's new book War Footing, he warns us that

Muslim populations in the Caucasus and western China pose some long-term issues for Moscow and Beijing but, in the meantime, both figure the jihad's America's problem and it's in their interest to keep it that way. Hence, Russo-Chinese support for every troublemaker on the planet, from Iran's kooky president to Chávismo in America's backyard. The meaning of Chávez in just about any language is "opportunity."
Here are some of the highlights:

Four years ago, The Economist ran a cover story on the winner of the Brazilian election, the socialist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. It was an event of great hemispherical significance. Hence the headline: "The Meaning Of Lula."
The following week, a Canadian reader, Asif Niazi, wrote to the magazine: "Sir, 'The meaning of Lula' in Urdu is penis." No doubt.
It would not surprise me to learn that the meaning of Chávez in Arabic is penis. An awful lot of geopolitics gets lost in translation, especially when you're not keeping up. Since 9/11, Latin America has dropped off the radar, but you don't have to know the lingo to figure out it clearly doesn't mean what it did five years ago at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City.

...Then Sept. 11 happened. And the amigos weren't quite so friendly, or at any rate helpful, and Bush found himself holed up with the usual pasty white blokes like Tony Blair and John Howard, back in the Anglosphere with not an enchilada in sight. And everyone was so busy boning up on sharia and Wahhabis and Kurds and Pashtuns that very few of us noticed that Latin America was slipping back to its old ways.
...Señor Chávez will be in London this week as a guest of the mayor, Ken Livingstone. The Venezuelan president said Bush was a "madman" who should be "strapped down" and Blair was an "ally of Hitler" who should "go to hell." What else does a Euroleftie need to know before rolling out the red carpet?
...What to do? Gaffney proposes Americans boycott Citgo gas stations (owned by the Venezuelan government) and switch over to FFVs (flexible fuel vehicles). He's right.

Like swallows to Capistrano, Bush's critics keep returning to the same allegations-

Peter Wehner's succinct description of President Bush's critics bears repetition: "Like swallows to Capistrano, they [Bush's critics] keep returning to the same allegations..."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Left, spearheaded by the NYTimes and msm, is slowly committing suicide by constantly attacking the President and his policies.


Revisionist History
Antiwar myths about Iraq, debunked.
The Opinion Journal


Iraqis can participate in three historic elections, pass the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, and form a unity government despite terrorist attacks and provocations. Yet for some critics of the president, these are minor matters. Like swallows to Capistrano, they keep returning to the same allegations--the president misled the country in order to justify the Iraq war; his administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments; Saddam Hussein turned out to be no threat since he didn't possess weapons of mass destruction; and helping democracy take root in the Middle East was a postwar rationalization. The problem with these charges is that they are false and can be shown to be so--and yet people continue to believe, and spread, them.

Let me examine each in turn:
The president misled Americans to convince them to go to war. "There is no question [the Bush administration] misled the nation and led us into a quagmire in Iraq," according to Ted Kennedy. Jimmy Carter charged that on Iraq, "President Bush has not been honest with the American people." And Al Gore has said that an "abuse of the truth" characterized the administration's "march to war." These charges are themselves misleading, which explains why no independent body has found them credible. Most of the world was operating from essentially the same set of assumptions regarding Iraq's WMD capabilities. Important assumptions turned out wrong; but mistakenly relying on faulty intelligence is a world apart from lying about it.

Let's review what we know. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is the intelligence community's authoritative written judgment on specific national-security issues. The 2002 NIE provided a key judgment: "Iraq has continued its [WMD] programs in defiance of U.N. resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade."

Thanks to the bipartisan Silberman-Robb Commission, which investigated the causes of intelligence failures in the run-up to the war, we now know that the President's Daily Brief (PDB) and the Senior Executive Intelligence Brief "were, if anything, more alarmist and less nuanced than the NIE" (my emphasis). We also know that the intelligence in the PDB was not "markedly different" from that given to Congress. This helps explains why John Kerry, in voting to give the president the authority to use force, said, "I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security." It's why Sen. Kennedy said, "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." And it's why Hillary Clinton said in 2002, "In the four years since the inspectors, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability and his nuclear program."

Beyond that, intelligence agencies from around the globe believed Saddam had WMD. Even foreign governments that opposed his removal from power believed Iraq had WMD: Just a few weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Wolfgang Ischinger, German ambassador to the U.S., said, "I think all of our governments believe that Iraq has produced weapons of mass destruction and that we have to assume that they continue to have weapons of mass destruction."

In addition, no serious person would justify a war based on information he knows to be false and which would be shown to be false within months after the war concluded. It is not as if the WMD stockpile question was one that wasn't going to be answered for a century to come.

The Bush administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments. Earlier this year, Mr. Gore charged that "CIA analysts who strongly disagreed with the White House . . . found themselves under pressure at work and became fearful of losing promotions and salary increases." Sen. Kennedy charged that the administration "put pressure on intelligence officers to produce the desired intelligence and analysis."

This myth is shattered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Among the findings: "The committee did not find any evidence that intelligence analysts changed their judgments as a result of political pressure, altered or produced intelligence products to conform with administration policy, or that anyone even attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to do so." Silberman-Robb concluded the same, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's prewar assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . . Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments." What the report did find is that intelligence assessments on Iraq were "riddled with errors"; "most of the fundamental errors were made and communicated to policy makers well before the now-infamous NIE of October 2002, and were not corrected in the months between the NIE and the start of the war."

Because weapons of mass destruction stockpiles weren't found, Saddam posed no threat. Howard Dean declared Iraq "was not a danger to the United States." John Murtha asserted, "There was no threat to our national security." Max Cleland put it this way: "Iraq was no threat. We now know that. There are no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear weapons programs." Yet while we did not find stockpiles of WMD in Iraq, what we did find was enough to alarm any sober-minded individual.

Upon his return from Iraq, weapons inspector David Kay, head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), told the Senate: "I actually think this may be one of those cases where [Iraq under Saddam Hussein] was even more dangerous than we thought." His statement when issuing the ISG progress report said: "We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities" that were part of "deliberate concealment efforts" that should have been declared to the U.N. And, he concluded, "Saddam, at least as judged by those scientists and other insiders who worked in his military-industrial programs, had not given up his aspirations and intentions to continue to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

Among the key findings of the September 2004 report by Charles Duelfer, who succeeded Mr. Kay as ISG head, are that Saddam was pursuing an aggressive strategy to subvert the Oil for Food Program and to bring down U.N. sanctions through illicit finance and procurement schemes; and that Saddam intended to resume WMD efforts once U.N. sanctions were eliminated. According to Mr. Duelfer, "the guiding theme for WMD was to sustain the intellectual capacity achieved over so many years at such a great cost and to be in a position to produce again with as short a lead time as possible. . . . Virtually no senior Iraqi believed that Saddam had forsaken WMD forever. Evidence suggests that, as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed, there was a direct expansion of activity that would have the effect of supporting future WMD reconstitution."

Beyond this, Saddam's regime was one of the most sadistic and aggressive in modern history. It started a war against Iran and used mustard gas and nerve gas. A decade later Iraq invaded Kuwait. Iraq was a massively destabilizing force in the Middle East; so long as Saddam was in power, rivers of blood were sure to follow.

Promoting democracy in the Middle East is a postwar rationalization. "The president now says that the war is really about the spread of democracy in the Middle East. This effort at after-the-fact justification was only made necessary because the primary rationale was so sadly lacking in fact," according to Nancy Pelosi.

In fact, President Bush argued for democracy taking root in Iraq before the war began. To take just one example, he said in a speech on Feb. 26, 2003: "A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq. . . . The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. And there are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East. . . . A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region."

The following day the New York Times editorialized: "President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. . . . The idea of turning Iraq into a model democracy in the Arab world is one some members of the administration have been discussing for a long time."

These, then, are the urban legends we must counter, else falsehoods become conventional wisdom. And what a strange world it is: For many antiwar critics, the president is faulted for the war, and he, not the former dictator of Iraq, inspires rage. The liberator rather than the oppressor provokes hatred. It is as if we have stepped through the political looking glass, into a world turned upside down and inside out.
Mr. Wehner is deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House's Office of Strategic Initiatives.

Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pay attention: Know the enemy! This comes to you courtesy of Al-Jazeerah.

We ought to pay attention to what's going on in the Arab world. Here are a few paragraphs of a long diatribe ... a manual of sorts on how activists can propagate anti-Israel divestment movements across the USA and abroad.

Divestment From Israel In Its Fifth Year:
A History and Method for US and European Activists

By Eyad Kishawi

Al-Jazeerah, January 19, 2006

The purpose of this article is to introduce the notion of Divestment from Israel to activists involved in Palestine work and equip others who are well versed in the topic with tools that can systematically advance the struggle against the Apartheid State of Israel, who is in turn a proxy of US imperialism. We start from the assumption that victory is an accumulation of incremental successes and that a systematic approach is necessary to maintain a positive trend of accumulation. We assert a discourse that is consistent with the objective of dismantling the exclusionary-racist structures of Israel, and then we propose a sector-based approach to tactically proliferate the discourse. We end with a “cookbook” for launching a divestment movement in different contexts.

...Despite the tactical demands, there is only one strategic call: Material isolation of Israel until Palestinian exiles are repatriated to their towns of origin and receive reparation for lives and properties destroyed by Israel. Only then, would the Zionist dream become strategically challenged.

...The US plan in the Arab World is to conquer and dominate raw and labor resources, with the use of Israel as the only regional military and nuclear power. In fact, Israel’s inorganic disposition and its racist nature provide a perceived existential dependency. Proponents of US Empire work hard to deepen the racist-exclusionary nature of Israel through their support of the Zionist right, whether in Likud or Labor parties.

The current vice president, Dick Cheney, supported the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and repeatedly argued for CIA support for the apartheid administrations in South Africa. In today’s unbalanced world, such flagrantly racist calls for colonization, displacement and brutalization of the Palestinian people often pass unchecked, and have become the accepted norm in the US public media.

...In this article we presented a five-year follow up on the Divest-From-Israel movement launched in November 2000. The objective was to present a coherent political approach and suggest a flow chart for taking solidarity from the realm of political discourse and sloganeering to the realm of the material. Although political action is always a necessity, material action is the intended outcome of this movement. Similar to the Divest-From-South-Africa movement, we expect a long struggle ahead of us and anticipate a 20-year run. The first five years have been surprisingly successful and prolific in outcome and education. What is important, however, is maintaining a trend of tangible successes that would eventually a! ccumulate into a total victory.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Are we Christians The "Useful Idiots" and willing executioners of Islamic Terrorism?????

Divestment: The How-To Manual
By David Meir-Levi

Remember that old adage, “When all else fails, read the manual”? Well, Arab enemies of Israel have turned that concept into a reality. Thanks to a “Divestment Manual,” recently published on an Arab website , we can now read a step-by-step instruction booklet educating divestment supporters as to how they can literally franchise divestment movements across the USA and abroad.

And that is exactly what divestment supporters seem to have done. Acting as a hitherto unrecognized fifth column, insinuating themselves deeply into our society, divestment activists have initiated a series of divestment movements that pretend to be grassroots opposition to Israeli “oppression.” In reality, these are a top-down implementation of Arab anti-Israel strategy.

First in universities, then in main line churches, and now in the Green Party, anti-Israel left-wing activists are taking their instruction from this manual and launching divestment campaigns “by the book.” The almost cookie-cutter character of these campaigns is strong evidence that their perpetrators have followed the Arab manual’s instructions step by step. The same is true of the academic boycotts of Israel in the USA and the UK.

This congruence of procedure in these different divestment programs, due to the use of this Arab divestment manual, shows us a rather grim and dangerous side to the anti-Israel divestment programs. The divestment leaders’ decision to implement, as ‘franchisees’ so to speak, the Arab organized and sponsored divestment program indicates that these leaders are quite literally in league with the Arab anti-Israel propaganda offices that created and published the manual. Therefore these leaders are knowingly working to advance the Arab campaign to weaken, and ultimately to destroy, Israel. The end game of the Arab anti-Israel efforts, as many Arab leaders have made clear over the past 70 years, is the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews.

So, divestment leaders working with and for Arab anti-Israel forces are not just a 21st century avatar of Lenin’s “useful idiots.” They are the Arab world’s willing executioners.

The first rule in warfare is: “know thy enemy.”

Most of us who are aware of the fact that we are at war can identify the enemy: Jihadist Imperialist Supremacist Terrorist Triumphalist Totalitarian Extremist Moslems, hereafter “Terrorist Islam.” [1]

And most of us know that this war is being waged against us in a number of different arenas at once.

Terrorism is the most obvious. But PR and propaganda, fifth column infiltration and its ensuing influence on our society, on our children’s education, and in our media, and on our government and law enforcement agencies, are also very important arenas of this war.

What many of us do not know, is the degree to which that fifth column infiltration has been successful. Our failure in this first rule of warfare is due in part to the sophistication of that infiltration, its use of western operatives of all religions, and the degree to which those operatives have insinuated themselves into so many aspects of the woof and warp of our society.

The clearest example of this infiltration is the divestment strategy.

Late in 2000, divestment movements suddenly cropped up at a number of universities in the USA, Canada and the UK. There was much ado about striking a blow for peace and justice in the Middle East by having university endowment and retirement plans divest themselves of stock held in companies that did business in Israel. In this manner, so the movement proponents preached, pressure could be brought upon Israel to end its oppression of the Palestinians.

That movement began to loose momentum after Harvard's president spoke out against it. Now that Israel has unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, the divestment movement on campuses is almost dead.

Then, suddenly the Presbyterian churches became a new and very willing driver for the divestment efforts. Presbyterian divestment activities attracted the attention of other main line churches and soon there was a major movement in the USA, Canada and the UK to get churches to instruct their retirement fund managers to divest from Israel.

Gradually some church leaders began to speak out against divestment because it was a movement that clearly reflected values and judgments at odds with church ideology. Churches and broader church organizations began to distance themselves from the movement, withdraw support, vote against divestment, and speak out against the movement and its cornerstone concepts. Some Christian groups have even organized support-for-Israel movements. [2]

But even as the Presbyterian movement began to spiral down in gradual deflation, another institution suddenly took up the cause of divestment from Israel. The Green Rainbow Party, committed to non-violence and legislation for the protection of the environment, now is the new champion of peace in the Middle East by means of divestment from Israel. The Wisconsin chapter floated the party’s resolution 190 in a manner that would make the American Communist Party organizers of the 30’s quite proud. [3] And the leader of the divestment movement in the Green Party took the liberty of secretly inserting a vitriolic anti-Israel article in the World Economic Forum magazine that was distributed at the recent World Economic Forum conference at Davos, Switzerland. [4] The article demanded that world powers divest from Israel and provide it with no economic aid or support. The chairman of the conference formally apologized to Israel for this unprecedented and unexplained breach of the Forum’s integrity. The Green Party has still not addressed the effrontery of their representative’s actions.

What seems so strange about this process is that each group becoming the standard bearer for divestment aspires to missions that are incongruent with the demands of divestment. Moreover, the divestment movement’s decontextualization of the conflict, such that the glaringly obvious violations of international law and human rights perpetrated against Israel by its terrorist enemy were ignored and all calumny placed exclusively on Israel, turned many against it; as they saw that the cornerstone values of their institution were violated by divestment movement’s inherent support for terrorism.

Why then did each group in turn suddenly become the clarion for divestment, and the staging ground for anti-Israel activities? The answer to that question comes from a divestment instruction manual, appearing only very recently on the al-Jazeera website. The manual, written in English, is obviously meant for use by western operatives in the USA and Canada and the UK. [5]

The rise of these divestment movements in universities, main line churches, and the Green Party, and, perhaps not coincidentally, the academic boycotts of Israeli universities in the UK which sprang up at about the same time, all seem to develop just as is outlined in this Arab manual for divestment activism. This congruence implies that divestment spokespersons in these academic, religious and political venues are quite literally in league with Arab anti-Israel propaganda offices. It looks like agents provocateurs use the manual to create divestment movements wherever they can find willing collaborators. Much like starting a franchise, the agents and collaborators use the step by step instructions to generate interest and enthusiasm in the endeavor, co-opting upper level leadership to foist the program on the institution from the top down. These collaborators, then, are knowingly working with Israel’s terrorist enemies, and supporting their goal of destroying Israel.

This manual is detailed. It opens with a long diatribe about the putative injustices that Israel has wrecked upon the Palestinians. This diatribe serves to give the faux-historical and supposedly moral justifications for divestment, as well as rhetoric that effectively demonizes Israel and Zionism. The franchisees learn what to say and how to say it.

The next section, on definitions, not only defines critical terminology, it also gives strategic guidance for how to choose an institution, and how to engage its leaders. This section explains how the justice of the Palestinian cause can be effectively argued, thus touching the altruistic nerve of people committed to peace, justice and the American way. It also presents arguments demonstrating how divestment can pragmatically serve the purposes of the institution, benefiting it financially by its selling off companies that are likely to loose money as the Palestinian struggle continues, because of their support for Israel.

The section on “Organizational Form and Unified Discourse” bears careful scrutiny.

Proponents of Divestment from Israel aim to make it a mass movement. Mass movements unite organizations with different trends and persuasion behind a common interest, or a common moral objective. This movement carries both. The diversity of the movement makes it impossible to centralize or command with any structure. In fact, proponents of Divestment have agreed that movement’s decentralization will achieve maximum outcome (so proponents can work with any institution anywhere, just take the manual and run with it. DML)

The annual conferences (of divestment movement proponents) have given birth to many resources and organizing manuals. UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Duke University and the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM), Rutgers University, Wayne State University, Global Exchange and the Divestment Resource Center provide an informational model on their websites, similar to the New York and Los Angeles offices led by ANC activists during the anti-apartheid struggle (in South Africa). We will list the three most important political points of unity that forge the fabric of this movement, between student, community member and advocate: (So new franchisees can learn from the successes of past activists and apply their strategies as needed to each new situation. DML)

1. Divestment….from the State of Israel will continue until the Palestinian people achieve the following demands….:(Note that the wording of this section means that even if Israel is making concessions toward peace, the divestment movement will continue to operate. Even if there is an agreement between the Palestinian leadership and Israel which results in less than these territorial demands, the divestment movement will continue its anti-Israel activity. DML.

a. the recognition and implementation of the right of return and repatriation for all Palestinian refugees to their original homes or towns with reparations paid for lost properties and lives; (underlining in the original. Note that this demand means the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement demographically with the state of Palestine. DML )

b. the full decolonization of all land occupied after 1967 of Jewish-Only settlement colonies, which are illegal under international law; (Israel must dismantle all settlements and return to the 1949 armistice borders. DML )

c. the end of the Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem and all Arab lands; (What does “all Arab lands” mean? Once they have done ‘a’ and ‘b’, what Arab lands are there for Israel to withdraw from? Is this a coded message that pre-67 Israel is also considered ‘occupied’? DML )

d. an end to the Israeli system of Apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population, within the green line, in the 1967 territories, and in exile. (They certainly cover all their geographic bases. West Bank, Gaza Strip, pre-67 Israel and all Palestinians living anywhere in the world. DM L)

2. It is not the place of the Divestment movement to dictate the strategies or tactics adopted by the Palestinian and Arab peoples in their struggle for liberation. (So terrorism is OK a far as this manual is concerned. DML)

3. Just as the Movement condemns the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionism underlying the policies and laws of the State of Israel, the Movement rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any group based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The Movement’s strength is in the great diversity of its membership. The Movement welcomes individuals of all ethnic and religious backgrounds to join in solidarity with the struggle for justice in Palestine. (Very important! No discrimination. No hatred. No racism. Just the commitment to support the Palestinians, even as they preach and teach hatred, and practice terrorism against Israeli civilians -- per #2. This type of disclaimer effectively quells the discomfort of those potential collaborators who truly wish to strive for humanitarian goals but fail to see the contradiction between #2 and #3. DML).

The manual continues with guidelines for establishing discourse with potential collaborators, for using legal arguments to demonstrate the evil of Zionism and its effrontery to anyone committed to peace and justice, and for tailoring the message to the target potential collaborator.

It then goes on to discuss the strategies for evaluating potential collaborators. Arab and Moslem contacts should be the easiest. “Progressive white” broader audiences can be approached in a variety of ways. Immigrants, African Americans and Latinos provide a fertile ground if approached correctly. Then there is a long discourse on how to work with the Jewish communities. Involving Jews in the movement is very important because “…..Jewish involvement in this campaign disarms the Zionist forces in labeling the targeting of Israel as anti Semitic.” (p. 13)

The last section deals with methodology. First identify your institution and its funds. Then research the institution to clarify that it has the kinds of assets that are to be targeted. Then “Build the movement” by seeking coalitions with “peace and justice” communities related to the institution. Hold events, seminars, private and public functions, and through these identify the supporters. Once there is a critical mass (c. 500 to 1,000 in a 20,000 person institution) it is time to take action. Go public with the intentions of divestment. Stage public events to demonstrate the evils of Zionism and the suffering of the Palestinians.

The conclusion is very edifying. The “divest from Israel” movement officially began as an organized movement in November of 2000. The manual is actually a summary of the methods that generated these unexpectedly successful first five years. But the need is still great. The authors “…expect a long struggle ahead…and anticipate a 20-year run. The first five years have been surprisingly successful and prolific in outcome and education. What is important, however, is maintaining a trend of tangible successes that would eventually accumulate into a total victory.”

So it does not matter what happens in the conflict itself. No mention is made of any need to comply with international directives (the Road Map, inter alia), or with international law (prohibiting the targeting of civilians). It is irrelevant for the manual’s author that by the end of 2005 Sharon had already announced the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and had formally committed to the creation of a Palestinian state. No mention is made of what to do if/when Israel and the PA reach a peace agreement on terms other than those defined as acceptable in the manual. Efforts to advance the divestment agenda must continue apace, perhaps for the next 20 years.

This instruction manual is intended for use by western activists who accept the premise that Israel must be replaced by “Palestine,” and that a terror war is an acceptable way to do that. These activists moved first, sometime after November of 2000, onto university campuses and followed the instructions, co-opting the participation of students, faculty and governance. They were indeed successful as agents provocateurs. But when the campus movement began to flag, they simply moved on to the next promising institution: the Presbyterian churches. After initial successes there began to turn sour, they moved on to the Green Party. With or without success there, they will continue to move on to other receptive groups, much as parasites move from one host body to another.

It is important to understand that divestment is not the goal. “Success” is not in manipulating an institution to actually divest. The goal is to use divestment movements as vehicles for continued diatribe against Israel. Their thinking is long-term. They have Josef Goebbels as their model. Repeat the same lie often enough and people will eventually believe it. Thus, later, maybe 20 years later, American society will be psychologically prepared for, accept, even welcome, the destruction of Israel.

A most chilling but candid confession of this strategy was expounded for western audiences on a University of Michigan student-run radio show where one divestment conference organizer, Amer Zahr (a U. Mich. Arab. “student activist”) explained:

“What we want is not actual economic divestment from Israel. Everyone knows that the US will never pull investments out of Israel like that. Instead, we are looking to shift the dialogue to whether or not to divest from Israel, without extraneous discussion of the basics. We hope that in 10, 20 years the public will just take for granted the premises that Israel is an apartheid state, and then we can move from there.” [6]

This revealing statement is indicative of the divestment movement’s long term goals which have nothing to do with peace or justice, and nothing to do with the factual, nature of the state of Israel and its society. The divestment campaign is meant to alter American society’s perception of Israel over a long period of time so that later, 20 years from now, the anti-israel forces can lobby against Israel in an atmosphere in which it is ….”taken for granted that Israel is an apartheid state.”

In other words, it does not matter whether or not Israel is an apartheid state (…the facts being “extraneous discussion of basics”). What matters is for divestment operatives to lay the groundwork for getting the big lie accepted without discussion of those pesky basics.

By maintaining a high level of propaganda pressure in any receptive venue, western society is constantly inundated with an endless barrage of anti-Israel diatribe cloaked in the faux mantles of human rights, justice, peace, or support for the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression. The goal is for the western world eventually to acquiesce to the anti-Israel ideological cornerstone: the demonization of Israel such that Israel is defined as a rogue state, the world’s worst violator of human rights, a state that does not have the right to exist. Thus will the terrorists’ ultimate destruction of Israel be not just justified, but actually welcomed.

They do not want peace. They want Israel destroyed

But a major question remains unanswered. Who or what is the author of this movement?

It seems clear that the origins of this infiltration are in the Arab world. And as a successful part of TI’s war against the West, the organizers of the western agents provocateurs are part of TI’s PR and propaganda professionals. While it may still be impossible to definitively prove a link between these divestment agents and any one specific Arab institution, there is some very compelling evidence to indicate that at least one of the originators of the divestment movement is the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, based in Jerusalem and headed by Na’im Ateek. [7] Sabeel was founded by Anglican Canon Naim Ateek in 1989. It espouses Marxist leaning liberation theology in the service to the Palestinian cause.

Sabeel describes itself as "an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians", which "hopes to connect the true meaning of Christian faith with the daily lives of all those who suffer under occupation, violence, discrimination, and human rights violations". However, according to Brigitte Gabriel, Naim Ateek and other Sabeel acolytes devote themselves to promoting hatred of Jews and Israel. [8]

The Sabeel Center and Naim Ateek, are believed by NGO Monitor to be among the major sources of the divestment campaign. Sabeel's record clearly demonstrates its central goal of delegitimizing and dismantling the State of Israel. Sabeel is active in promoting an extreme anti-Israel agenda in Protestant churches in both North America and Europe. Sabeel's efforts have promoted the campaign to isolate and delegitimize Israel through the divestment movement, which was originally adopted by the World Council of Churches, the Anglican Church in Britain, the Presbyterian Church, and others. Many of these Church statements are actually paraphrases or even verbatim quotes from Sabeel's publications. Therefore, it may well be that the divestment campaign, the latest form of political warfare against Israel, can be attributed to the efforts of Na’im Ateek and his staff at Sabeel. [9]

So, while there is no definitive proof that the Sabeel Center began the divestment movement, it is clear that the Center supports and promotes divestment as part of its international campaign to demonize and disenfranchise Israel.

This being the case, those American, Canadian, and British collaborators, students, faculty, Church leaders, and political leaders, who are co-opted and manipulated by TI’s agents provocateurs, are the 21st century’s re-incarnation of Lenin’s “useful idiots.” Ignorant, or ignoring, they have become Terrorist Islam’s “willing executioners.” What they do not seem to grasp, is that in their work against Israel, they are working against their own countries, their own religions, their own civilization as well.


1.) We also understand that it is important to distinguish between TI and its terrorist Moslem practitioners on one hand, and other forms of Islam as practiced by most Moslems throughout the world who have no desire to destroy Israel, no designs on world conquest, and no intention of cooperating with their co-religionist TI terrorists. This essay deals only with TI and its agents.

2.) Cf. David Meir-Levi, Divestment Fraud, Front Page Magazine, 7/13/05, and Ibid, Mainline Christian Anti-Semitism, 3/15/05

3) Cf. Roz Rothstein, “Hate Goes Green,” Front Page Magazine, Jan. 9, 2006

4) Plocker, Sever, Anti-Zionism at Davos Conference: World Economic Forum booklet features malicious, hateful anti-Israel article YNET news, 1/26/06

5) “Divestment from Israel in Its Fifth Year: A History and Method for US and European Activists” (al-Jazeerah, 1/19/06)

6.) Roth, Rachel, CAMERA: On Campus, Vol. 13, #1: spring 2003, “Directing Campus Discussion: A Case Study,” pp. 2ff.

7.) NGO Monitor, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Institute for Contemporary Affairs, founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation, , July 10, 2005, “Sabeel - An Ecumenical Facade To Promote Hatred”

8.) Gabriel, Brigitte, Roderick, Keith, Gordan, Jerry, Belman, Ted, “Canada’s unholy Alliance,” Front Page Magazine, November 7, 2005

9.) NGO Monitor.